The Australian National University

Event Horizon

Research School of Physics


Weekly newsletter | vol 43 no 29 | 7–11 August 2017


Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

Many thanks to the nine students who joined in the 3MT competition (see below).  In the next few months there will be several student-led events so please stay tuned.

Our congratulations go to Professor Paul Francis, one of the first Distinguished Educators at the ANU.  Many of you will have seen the VC’s announcement of this award which highlights his commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching.

This week’s photo celebrates one of the three RSPE teams in the scavenger hunt during the 71st ANU anniversary.  Great job!  They won third place over all in a field of very swift completion.

On Monday we wished our outgoing Dean, Professor Andrew Roberts, all the best.  It is my pleasure to invite our new Dean, Professor Kiaran Kirk, to the next School Forum on Wednesday 30th August.  If you have topics for the agenda please let your representative know over the next few weeks.

Finally, don’t forget about the theatrical event next week. International actor, Anita Zieher, from Austria will present at the National Museum next week (see below).   It’s a play about women and research - Radiation. Nuclear fission. Frequency hopping.  Arranged by the Dept Nuclear Physics and supported by the School and the Austrian Embassy - this event has limited places so book soon.

Hope you have a restful weekend,



Distinguished Educators

Some of the most important members of our community are our teaching staff, who deliver the programs of which ANU is so proud. The VC wants great teaching at ANU to be as celebrated as much as great research, because both are fundamental to being a world-leading university. He recognised the first six Distinguished Educators, for their eminence and sustained exceptional performance in relation to teaching and learning at the Fou dations Day celebrations:

The six Distinguished Educators are:

Professor Paul Francis – College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Professor Michael Platow – College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
Dr Carol Hayes – College of Asia and the Pacific
Dr Catherine Frieman – College of Arts and Social Sciences
Associate Professor Asmi Woods – ANU College of Law
Dr John Minns – College of Arts and Social Sciences

Further information on the Distinguished Educators is available from


From the RSPE Equity and Access Committee

Even artificial intelligence can acquire biases against race and gender
One of the great promises of artificial intelligence (AI) is a world free of petty human biases. Hiring by algorithm would give men and women an equal chance at work, the thinking goes, and predicting criminal behavior with big data would sidestep racial prejudice in policing. But a new study shows that computers can be biased as well, especially when they learn from us.

» read more


3MT Competition RSPE and College Heats

Photo:  David McManus, Lan Fu, Bryce Henson, Haitao Chen and Stewart Hilton (Vince Craig absent).

Congratulations to our students who competed in the School heat of Thee Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition on Thursday. Bryce Henson (Laser Physics Centre) won the School heat and Haitao Chen (Non-Linear Physics Centre) received the People’s Choice award.

Students who would like to register for the College 3MT Competition on 14 August 2017 need to contact the College Student Admin team by close of business Friday 4 August 2017. 3MT participants should also register for one of the 3MT training sessions on the 9 August 2017 via #ANU3MT Clinics with the Thesis Whisperer.


Mentoring and Guidance in Careers (MAGIC)

The first Mentoring and Guidance in Careers (MAGIC) workshop will be held from 13-17 November in Canberra.  Applications are invited from women and diverse gender researchers with a PhD in mathematical or physical sciences, who are within 7 years after the award of their PhD. Up to 35 successful applicants will receive financial support for airfare and accommodation costs to attend the workshop.  Applications are due 13 August.

» read more


Professional Staff Development grants

Professional staff are encouraged to continue their growth and development through attendance at a range of career development initiatives. Financial support is available through the Professional Staff Scholarship Scheme (PSSS) and the Professional Staff Development Endowment Fund (PSDEF). 

Applications for round two close at 5.00pm on Friday 25 August 2017.

» read more


Oral Presentations and Submission of Thesis

A reminder from the HDR Examinations Office that students must complete their Oral Presentation before submitting their thesis. HDR Examinations Office are unable to process a submission until after the Oral Presentation (as it is a required milestone). 

Please ensure students are aware of the requirement of this milestone, as any delays could result in students being charged additional fees for extensions of program, SSAF, etc. 

For information about this, and 99 other helpful hints regarding HDR Submission and Examination, please see the Procedure

Please feel free to contact Luda or Karen or HDR Examinations office directly if you have any questions about this.


Physics Project Market Day 15 August

Some important Physics Project Market Day dates that you should add to your diary:

  • Friday 11th August - Print poster (to assist the SCU in managing the printing load)
  • Physics Project Market Day Tuesday 15th August (11.30am to 2pm)  the  Student Commons at the ANU Pop-up village (lunch provided)

» read more


Departmental seminars

Professor Hernán Míguez - 8 August
Applications of ordered and disordered optical materials in optoelectronics
» read more

Mr Xin Chen - 9 August
All-optical ferroelectric domain engineering by infrared femtosecond pulses
» read more

Professor Carsten Rockstuhl - 11 August
Quantum Nanophotonics
» read more

Professor Peter Gill - 11 August
Accurate solutions of the Schrödinger equation for electrons on spheres
» read more

Professor Chaohong Lee - 17 August
Topological states and cotranslational symmetry in strongly interacting multiparticle systems
» read more




Staff Movements

Benjamin Parker-Brown is away until 10th August
Goran Randovanovic will be away from 19th July – 25th August
Lucia Lu rejoins the School on Thursday 10th August and will be temporarily located at Stores.

All purchasing requests should be sent to store or via email to


RSPE Health & Safety upcoming courses

WHS courses book through Horus

Wednesday 9 August - Hazardous Waste Safety Officer Training (WHHR19)

Thursday 10 August - Ionizing Radiation Safety - Machines Refresher (WHHR25)

Wednesday 30 August - Corrosives Safety (WHHR06)

» read more



The primary access for vehicles is the use of ANU Carshare.  Details on how to access this facility are on the CarShare website

» read more


School Truck

The keys and log book for the School Truck are now located in stores.


School Forum

10:00-11:30am Wednesday 30th August from 10am. The new Dean of the College of Science, Professor Kiaran Kirk, will be in attendance.


RSPCA Cupcake Day

RSPE will be hosting an RSPCA cupcake day to raise funds for the RSPCA of Canberra.

10am Monday 21st August in the Oliphant tearoom.

Our Team - RSPEct - is hoping to increase our donation from last year to $800.

If you are able to donate your time to bring some cupcakes please contact, otherwise please come along on the day with plenty of cash to buy up big on cupcakes for yourself, family and friends.


Scavenger Hunt at ANU Foundation Day

Photo: The LPC team

To mark the ANU’s 71st anniversary a campus-wide scavenger hunt was held on Wednesday, 2 August. Several Physics teams entered

The LPC team - Huma Latif, Yile Zhong and Choon Kong (CK) Lai (pictured above)

ANFF team - Fouad Karouta, Mark Lockrey, Lily Li, Mykhaylo Lysevych, Kaushal Vora, Naeem Shahid

It Matters Team - Kathy Hicks, Julie Arnold, Karen Nulty, Patrick Romero and Sonia Padrun – won a $50 voucher to spend at University House.


Christmas in July

The administrative staff celebrated Christmas in July on Monday, 31 July by sharing a plate of Christmas fare at lunchtime. The food was delicious and the group enjoyed a break from usual business to celebrate cold climate festivities.



A play about women and research - Ms Anita Zieher

Wednesday 9 August

» read more



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